During last year’s I/O developer conference, Google revealed that it would be giving users new and improved tools for managing their own information and how the company itself uses it. A lot of this spawned from pressure that came from congress over the past few years. Regardless, it’s only good for the end user, and we now have more options than ever before to tell Google what data it can and can’t utilize.
With that, a new “Results about you” section is appearing in the official Google app for some (first noticed by 9to5Google). This is being tested and rolled out in an effort to let you see what information about you is appearing in Google Search results and to quickly and easily request its removal from indexing.
Of course, Google is only an aggregation tool, and the company’s mission statement to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is just that. This means that Search results about you are likely not owned by Google, and though you can request they are removed from results, it doesn’t mean that said information is removed from the internet as a whole.
To do that, you’ll still need to contact the website owner and ask them to remove your data. This has always been the case, but now (or soon), you should be able to tap your profile image at the top right of the Google app, choose “Results about you” and conveniently see all of the data touch points that you can interact with. This is simply to eliminate all of the manual searching and “Googling yourself” that people tend to normally do while seeking data removal.
What makes Google’s tool unique is that any requests you put through will let you choose between several options (like if the information is too personal, harmful to you, out of date, or illegal among other things) and subsequently to track the removal process from start to finish. Having a way to do this all directly from the Google app is a nice addition, but don’t forget that you can do the exact same thing from Google Search Help on the web too!